By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
As the Island gets set to host hundreds of bikers from across the Valley and the rest of the state for Beach-N-Biker Fest 2015, the arrival of spring also heralds in the appearance of other two-wheeled aficionados: cyclists.
The warm, but not too hot, weather means cyclists are dusting off their road bikes, hybrids and mountain bikes, adjusting helmet straps, and checking that everything is in good working condition. I’m sure you’ve already seen some pedaling away on the shoulders or bike lanes along the Valley’s highways and towns. I know I have.
In fact, I’m one of those people who has ventured into the garage and dragged that old hunk of steel out from the corner and the cobwebs. I checked the chain oil, topped off the tire pressure, and made sure the shift and brake lines were still ok. I was already pretty certain everything would be in good condition, though, because my 20 year old new-to-me bike was restored from the ground up by an amazing mechanic only about a year and a half ago.
What started out as a dark purple colored Trek mountain bike that had grass entwined in the spokes, rusted lines, and a seat post that had been irreparably hammered into the frame soon became a smooth-riding hybrid bike custom powder-coated neon pink with black and chrome accents thanks to the skills of my friend, Curtis.
Feeling the itch to take advantage of the recent rainless days we’ve had, I visited with him to get my bike looked over. He made sure everything was in tip-top shape and I went for my first spring ride this past weekend. Now, it had been quite a few months since I’d ridden last, and a bit out of shape though I may be, that ride was probably the best ride I’ve had yet.
There’s something therapeutic about focusing on maintaining a good cadence — both in your pedaling and your breathing — while feeling the wind in your face and hearing the cacophony of birds singing their springtime songs. There’s also something uplifting about the community you instantly become a part of when you ride. That community is evident from the smiles and nods from other cyclists you see along the trails and roads.
I’m looking forward to getting out on the road more often and to seeing fellow cyclists out there. But I’d also like to offer a bit of advice to cyclists based on a popular biker mantra: don’t forget ATGATT, or “all the gear, all the time.” We share our roads with numerous other vehicles and we are subject to the same traffic laws as someone in a car or truck. So, wear your helmet, wear bright colors and make sure you have both head and tail lights if you’re going to be riding at dawn, dusk or dark. Let someone know your bike route and carry a tool or patch kit in case you need to make repairs on the road, too. I hope I see you out there. I’ll be sure to wave if I do. And as always, don’t forget to visit us online at www.portisabelsouthpadre.com.
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